People Still Want Local TV News


A new study from Pew Research Center shows that the American people still watch and want local TV news.

But, news online is almost tied with TV news as the piece of the pie gets smaller and smaller.

41% of Americans say they prefer getting their local news via TV and the 37% who prefer it online far outpace those who prefer a printed newspaper or the radio (13% and 8%, respectively).

When it comes to news, weather is still the top thing that viewers tune in for and say that it’s important for daily life.

What was No. 2?

Crime news, followed by traffic and transportation.

Here is the breakdown graph:


People also want their local news station to be connected to the community.

An overwhelming majority of adults say it is at least somewhat important for journalists to understand their community’s history (85%) and to be personally engaged with their local area (81%), and at least four-in-ten deem each very important.

Stick to the facts and leave your opinions at the door. A majority of Americans say local journalists should not share their views about local issues: 61%, compared with 36% who say they should.

As for social media?

Not many viewers care if their local Anchor or Reporter tweet or post to social media. Only 21% say it is very important for local journalists to be active on sites like Twitter and Facebook. Roughly 40% say it this is not very or not at all important.

In other words, the public wants straight news and wants a station that has roots in the community and doesn’t care much about TV stations on social media.

This Pew study sounds exactly like what FTVLive has been saying for years.

It’s an easy formula, but so many stations are moving away from it (cough Tegna).